The Structural Compression of Kāvyprakāsa and Taṇṭiyalaṅkāra

Keywords: Tolkāppiyam, Taṇṭiyalaṅkāra, Vīracōḻiyam, Sanskrit work, rhetoric works, Dandi, comparative research


Tolkāppiyam, the first extant work of Tamil grammar covers the descriptions on the ‘Rhetoric Grammar’ (aṇiyilakkaṇam; figures of language) under the chapter simile. Later on, In ‘Vīracōḻiyam’ which is one of the five grammatical thoughts of Tamil, (Eḻuttu, Col, Poruḷ, Yāppu, Aṇi) the rhetoric aspects of the language was described as following Sanskrit work ‘kāviyātarca’. Subsequently, more works such as Taṇṭiyalaṅkāra, Māṟāṉalaṅkāram, Toṉṉūl Viḷakkam, Muttuvīriyam were written based on the Sanskrit rhetorical conventions. Though the rhetoric works in Tamil were written on the basis of Sanskrit rhetoric aspects, it would have been authored in the Tamil context. Considering the requirement of a comparative research to understand this, the present study proposes to analyses the Sanskrit work ‘Kāvyprakāsa’ written in 11thAD and Tamil work ‘Taṇṭiyalaṅkāra’ written in 12thAD. Noteworthy, both the books were authored in the same time period. This work is comparing the structure of the rhetoric grammatical work of kāvyaprakāsa in Sanskrit and Taṇṭiyalaṅkāra in Tamil. Kāvyaprakāsa divided into ten chapter (ullāsa) and comprises three parts, the kārikās (the stanzas), the vrutti (the explanatory prose gloss), and the examples. This book has 143 rules for poetics. Taṇṭiyalaṅkāram is the earliest complete rhetoric grammar of Tamil written by Dandi. He explains ‘Taṇṭiyalaṅkāram’ under ‘Potuvaṇiyiyal’ (common rhetoric), ‘Poruḷaṇiyiyal’ (rhetoric meaning) and ‘Collaṇiyiyal’ (rhetoric terms). I would like to look at the internal structure and external structure of both texts. Internal structure will deals with auspicious verse, purpose of poetry, divisions of poetry, poetry defects, poetry gunās and rhetoric terms. The chapter divisions will be considering as external structures.

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